Here Zenderoudi combines numerology and calligraphic forms—mostly illegible although some can be deciphered—with a stylized lion set before a solar background. In ancient Persia the lion served as an important cultural icon; in the 19th century it was paired with the sun to form the official emblem of the Iranian monarchy. Zenderoudi associated the lion with Sufism, however. According to him, the standard held by the lion is a reference to “zolfaghar,” Hazrat Ali’s two-pronged sword. In 1960, the year Zenderoudi created Sun and Lion, the French government awarded him a scholarship to attend the Ecole des Beaux-arts in Paris. Iranian-inspired iconography continued to inform the works he made in Paris during the 1960s.